Every year, CA Technologies invites our intern class to seize the summer and make an impact on our business. We asked a few of this year’s interns to share their experiences and give insight to what it’s like to be an intern here at CA.
Meet Laura Pianin, Product Communications Intern in the Santa Clara office.
What attracted you to an internship at CA?
“I grew up surrounded by technology and in a family of engineers. My dad would bring home e-wasted parts and set up computers for my brother and I to use; we taught ourselves new programs, played games, and just explored. Growing up with engineers, it was always a “figure it out” type of culture in my house. If something broke, how do you fix it? If you don’t know how to do something, teach yourself. I think that type of learning instilled a general interest in exploring the technology industry as a whole and there really is no better place to do that than in the heart of Silicon Valley.”
Technology runs though Laura’s veins. Being surrounded by a family of engineers growing up, and exposure to tech at an early age it’s no surprise that this summer wasn’t Laura’s first internship.
“I was previously a communications intern at the Center for Women and Business at my college, Bentley University. We were a small team, but it allowed me to get to know my co-workers and develop good working relationships. Now, coming to CA, it was a big adjustment to work in a large global company. I’m thankful to have both perspectives as I figure out what working environment suits me best.”
CA Technologies has a vast portfolio ranging from mainframe to cloud and everything in between, and Laura was tasked with learning the CA product portfolio and then writing about it in a way that makes sense to all audiences.
What’s it like writing for a large tech company like CA?
“Writing about CA and the technology industry brings some unique challenges. I remember being completely overwhelmed by the shear depth and breadth of CA’s product portfolio and then realizing I have to take these complex products, themes, and ideas and tell effective stories. As someone who has always loved writing, I wanted to embrace this; I think part of the “magic” and one of the most satisfying aspects of writing and storytelling is conveying complicated ideas in accessible ways.”
Describe your day-to-day
“I usually get to the office early, right around 7:30. It’s kind of a calm before the storm feeling at that time, but I like the quiet and solitude especially when I’m working on a writing assignment. Because I work with both internal and external communications, I get varied items on my to do list. Some days I’m working on internal memos or blogs while on others I’m working on social media research or communications for upcoming events. Having a wide variety of tasks is something I value.
“Then it’s off to lunch with either my team or the other interns. We’ve had some fun intern ping pong matches and have explored the other floors together. It’s nice to connect with other people going through similar experiences and learning about all the projects we’re working on.”
“Usually, I’ll have a conference call to listen in on what the wider team is doing or have a weekly one on one with one of my managers to report back on some of my action items.”
An internship is the opportunity to act like a sponge, and absorb as much information as possible. At CA, we provide an environment that exposes our interns to as many different areas as possible, in hopes that they leave our offices at the end of summer loaded with new knowledge and with a sense of pride for the projects they worked on.
“Working in the product org, I get a good holistic perspective on lots of different areas of the company. I feel like I’ve been able to get to know CA at a much quicker pace because of this. It’s also rewarding to see a blog post or memo I worked on be published—it moved from my just cube to being accessible to thousands of people.”
What is the best part about your office?
“10th floor balcony. I hate being trapped inside all day, especially during the summer. I usually always take at least ten minutes in the afternoon to go outside and clear my head. Often, it’s where I do my best thinking if I’m having some writers block or stuck on a brainstorm.”
How would you describe your relationship with your manager?
“I get to work with two managers, one located in my local office and one in Denver, CO. Both are kind, receptive to questions, and provide helpful feedback. They let me work independently but are there if I need some guidance.”
What advice would you have for an Intern candidate coming to interview?
“Research and connect. Research CA, know the company’s mission and values, the industry it operates in, and catch up on the latest news about the company. Then, with that in mind, think about how your story, values, interests, experience, classes, projects, etc. connect to the company. This doesn’t mean don’t be yourself to try to fit perfectly into CA; in fact, one of the things that really drew me to CA was that they embrace uniqueness, so the interview is really an opportunity show who you are. Before I have an interview, I like to ask myself what do I want the interviewer to take away from our conversation, what are the key points I want to get across?”
Many people that are new to the tech industry do not know CA Technologies. What advice or comments would you have for them about choosing to intern for a lesser-known B2B technology company, rather than a better-known brand like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc?
“Although big name brands and consumer electronics companies are much more visible in the press and well-known, working at a B2B technology company gives you an interesting experience and perspective. The products CA makes allows many of these companies to actually successfully develop solutions or run critical systems effectively.”
If you’re ready to bring what you bring to CA, learn more and search our positions here.